Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Wedding! (not royal, but close :)

Today marks the start of a new regime for me.  This morning I put all six of my children on the bus to head to public school.  I mosied over and greeted my new cows and goat and then headed inside to my very quiet house.  It was a little weird, the happy dance was somewhat constrained because I pulled something in my abdomen and it hurts to twist and shout!  I love my children and I love having them around me, however, this is the first time in 15 years that I've had hours to call my own on a regular basis...crazy!

I immediately began my hours of freedom with a nap!  I spent the last week at my sister's preparing for her daughter's wedding.  It was a tremendous success and they did get married in the end!  Seriously, it was a lot of work and it was worth every minute of it.  Posting some pictures of the big day a little further down...

So now it is time to figure out what all needs to get done and start doing it....beginning with reclaiming my house.  Not just cleaning up from the huge load we dumped in the kitchen and laundry room from the camper, but going through stuff, organizing, sorting and throwing things away...this is my plan for this fall.  Before I can do too much of that the corn, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, apples and carrots need to be dealt with.  My head is starting to hurt so I'll skip right to the pictures...
She was stunning in that dress riding in with her daddy on the horses, Chief and Digger.

Tami-Lynn could not stop grinning!

Steven was slightly more subdued but there was a lot of giggling up there.  He's a fine young man.

Making it official with the same pen that Tami-Lynn's mom and dad used 30 years ago.

Husband and wife!

Another of my lovely nieces, Tonja.

Lizzy was one of the flowergirls, at this point, her cousin was crying so hard I didn't think I should take a picture of her.

My nephew, Terrell, with the ring-cows.

It's official!

Such a stunning bouquet

The bridesmaids' flowers.

I was decorator in chief for the event so I'll try to get some more pictures of those later.  Gotta go finish cleaning up the kitchen.  Back to real life, well, at least MY real life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Dress Project - part 3 (final)

All my sewing for the wedding is officially done as far as I know.  The dress turned out better than I hoped it would and looks great, I think.  So here are some pictures of the projects!
Abby's skirt that we decided to make yesterday!  She loves it, which is the real accomplishment, I hope she actually wears it!

It's all in the details.  Since the fabric is matte, it needed a little pizazz.  And another heart-attack at the end of the process as I discovered I'd caught the hem in the serger, no holes!! thank the Lord for small mercies.  I also love my new serger that helped give this little number such a nice finish both inside and on the waistband with a coverstitch.

Sam's shirt.  My first go at making a shirt for my boys.

My well-dressed bunch!

Lizzy's flowergirl dress, also made by me.

Here it is!  my new dress, it fits perfectly.  What do you think?

Lizzy wanted to take a picture, too!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Dress Project - part 2

Don't have a picture yet but today was certainly productive on the dress front...and back...and sides..hee hee.  The boys' shirts are finished and they look great although my plaids did not match and I managed to pick up very dark green buttons rather than black ones, but they went on anyways because I don't think anyone will be looking quite that closely!

Then after I made the lovely black and white plaid shirt for my honey-blonde, brown skinned boy I was doing some research on color/season stuff and realized it is not a great combo for him at all, he would have been much better in a brown/green plaid like the one I made for his flaxen-haired brother!  Oh well, he's going to wear it anyway and he loves it.

I almost sidetracked myself and started a skirt for Abby, actually I did cut it out and began sewing it this evening but I think my needle was too dull and ended up with some trouble, so I decided to stop and go to bed before I did irreparable damage!  Things were going along quite nicely there as I was having her serge seams while I was hemming the ruffles.

The Dress...
It actually went together pretty easily for so many pieces, it was pretty straight forward and I didn't run into any huge problems or seam ripping.  I almost had a heart-attack when I was serging a sideseam for the underskirt and caught fabric in the seam - that would have been a major gaff, but fortunately it didn't create a whole just a little seam-ripping.  PHEW!!!

Because everything was going so well I even attempted french seams on the sheer overlay fabric, a nice finish I must say.  I was inspired by a class I'm taking at Craftsy.com (Sewing Studio with Dianne Rupp).  You might even want to check some of their courses out, I'm hooked.  A professional teacher I can go back to again and again anytime I want.  Their prices are reasonable but I actually got mine for free on a great promotion.  The kids are enjoying the class, too.  I'd like to spend more time on it, perhaps after school starts, I really want to learn how to do invisible zippers.

Everything is done but the hand-sewing.  I just have to tack down all the lining and she is complete!  Then I will show you pictures and hopefully I will love it and it will look fabulous.  I'm a little concerned that in the end it will look like it should be worn by a 19 year old instead of a 42 year old woman.  The kids have been watching my DVDs of "What Not To Wear" and they are very big on being 'age-appropriate' in your wardrobe.  I've been sensitized, I hope that I haven't gone to alot of trouble for nothing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Dress Project - part 1

I'm going to attempt to sew this dress for myself for my niece's wedding.  I have not done anything quite this 'fancy' ever, so we'll see how it goes.  I've also never documented a project from start to finish, so I thought I might have some fun with this.  I don't know if you can really see the color very well but it is olive green and I love it.  I got an excellent deal on it.  It was buy one metre and get 3 free, so I got 4 m for $10!!  The overlay chiffon got pulled off the discount wall for about $3/m.  So even if it's an epic fail I haven't put alot of cash into this project.  Time, however, we'll see how expensive it is in time.

Several hours later all my pieces are cut....that was a LOT of cutting.  Besides the quilts I've made which take hundreds of pieces I don't think I've ever had to cut that many for one project!  Some pieces had to be cut out of three different things...crazy! 

Okay, first I'm going to finish off Sam's shirt.  My first attempt at doing something in a plaid, I failed at getting the plaids to match in front but otherwise it fits him and looks sharp.  Need to hem and do buttons/buttonholes - hopefully that won't be too painful!  Oh yes, and the same for Sasha's shirt, mom sewed it, but I need to do the buttons/buttonholes.

First, first...make some lunch......then on with the show!  I have high hopes for this dress, if it doesn't work out, I'll have to pull an old dress out of the closet, not the end of the world, but close! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reasons I Love My Bosch

1.  bread dough
2.  cookie dough
3.  cupcake
4.  pizza dough
5.  meatballs
6.  chopping and grating stuff for pizza
7.  french fries
8.  hamburgers
9.  buns
10.  muffins
11.  loaves
12.  smoothies

Yes, I love my Bosch, not sure how I would live and cook without it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Letter to my Son on His Birthday (1131)

Dear Christopher,

Today you turn 13 years old, leaving childhood behind and entering the uncertain years of hormones and high school.  So much will be changing for you in the next while as you grow and develop.  Your life hasn't been an easy one.  My prayer for you is that your difficulties will not define you but rather the moments of break-through and success.
You did not enter our family through biological means but through God's grace.  He chose you for us and saved you from a life of poverty, loss and pain.  While we have faced those same issues as a family you haven't had to do it alone, you've been in the warmth and safety of our love.  We've walked some very difficult streets with you and will continue to do so as you struggle to learn how to develop self-control and dependance on the Lord.
I pray that you will continually submit yourself to His glorious grace and mercy and that you will use all of the strength in you to reach for Him.  You have it you know, strength, determination and courage.  You've come so far and learned so much and yet there is a long way to go.
When we moved here you could only read about 5 words and now you can read well.  You're figuring out ways to overcome that learning disability and find out the things you want to know.
You are good at sports, even though you expect more from yourself than anyone else does.
You are funny and dramatic and have a quick wit.
You have the most endearing smile and a beautiful generous spirit.  Do you remember when we walked over to Pastor Terry's late at night because you felt so strongly that you needed to give the fifty-two cents you had in your pocket.  He told us later that your actions were a huge encouragement to him in a very difficult time.  God worked through you.
I pray that you will continue to let Him work through you.  That you will continue to develop a heart and mind to hear him and obey.
You are more compassionate than you let on.  When Abby fainted you almost lost it, it showed me how much you really love your sister.  I love that.
You've got a great sense of style, you love to look good and it shows in how you dress.  My prayer is that you wouldn't let concern for how you appear on the outside over-rule what needs to be dressed on the inside.  Be a Godly man Chris - pursue Jesus with all your heart, then, no matter what you wear, you will be well-dressed.
You're an excellent athlete.  Sometimes you let your competitive side get the better of you, let it guide you into becoming better at those skills.  Don't give up when someone else wins, let it stoke the fire to practice and get better so that next time you might be the winner, but don't let winning be the goal, let being the best you can be be the guide.
I can't express in words how much I love you and how proud I am to be your mom.  I know I'm not perfect and neither are you and I apologize for all the times where I've expected you to be.  You are an amazing creation of God.  Today on your birthday I want the world to know!

I love you,

1099.  for the doctor that watched your mom carefully during her pregnancy
1100.  for the surgeon who delivered you with careful hands so that no blood passed between you and her
1101.  for the aunties who decided someone else needed to love you and raise you
1102. grandpa and grandma saying yes to you
1103.  when our hearts said yes to you, I'd rather be your mom than your sister :)
1104.  the wrenching day we had to give you away
1105.  the glorious day we received you back, knowing beyond a doubt that God had destined you for us
1106.  all the holes and broken windows that have driven us to our knees on your behalf
1107.  Otto D., for holding you in the foyer countless hours when you couldn't sit through church
1108.  our church family who has prayed for you all these years
1109.  our families for extending their hearts to you
1110.  God sparing your life
1111.  your heart-stopping smile
1112.  silky black hair
1113.  chocolate eyes
1114.  the dusting of freckles on your nose
1115.  the way you sing when you're feeling safe and loved
1116.  your friendship with E.J., I love how you 'get' each other and always have
1117.  your love of cooking
1118.  the way you work with the animals
1119.  the way you are with your little cousins
1120.  your boundless energy
1121.  all the reports I get from school about how hard you work
1122.  the brilliant way you fooled your grade 1 teacher into believing you could read
1123.  your skill on the ball diamond
1124.  watching you run 
1125.  your accuracy when you throw, even with one bad eye
1126.  generosity
1127.  the way you love your blankets that grandma and I have made for you
1128.  your Huckleberry Finn skills
1130.  you still cuddle with me and hold my hand
1131.  you, I'm thankful for you and the tremendous gift you are

Sunday, August 14, 2011

catching up

I must apologize to anyone who actually checks here regularly.  I've been away for the last few weeks doing various things and this has been rather low on the priority list!  I have lots of things to be thankful for even though I am battling a nasty head cold...in August...that sucks!

1080.  We started harvest this week.
1081.  There is the potential for one very amazing canola crop
1082.  My friend took my favorite shoes to a repairman to get them fixed after they broke on me last week and now they'll be good as new!
1083.  I cooked at the Bible camp where my kids attend this last week with a few girlfriends and my daughter, we had a blast.  I never thought cooking could actually be fun!
1084.  We have pigs on our farm.
1085.  I spoke at our Ladies Time Out (actually I took on the responsibility of planning the event this year) and it all went really well
1086.  I love Job's wife...she became the inspiration for a monologue that was really powerful and she just might become a book....
1087.  I got my school supply shopping done
1088.  My kids got to take swimming lessons from a family friend and it was good.
1089.  I'm anticipating this next year with excitement.  I'm taking a sabbatical from home-schooling and have all six kids in school (Lizzy is in Kindergarten so she'll be home every other day).  I have some plans that might actually come to fruition...I've never had this level of time to myself since my son was born 15 years ago.  I'm afraid I'm just a little giddy.
1090.  Driving home after being away is such a gift!
1091.  Learning a new game was pretty fun this last week.
1092.  All the counselors and staff at camp are so amazing to give up their summers to care and minister to our kids - what a blessing they all are.
1093.  Just got an early birthday present from my MIL a Creative Memories Border System.  I can't wait to try it!
1094.  Watching my kids enjoy camp.
1095.  Seeing the rest of my family after being away for a week!
1096.  Daily hugs from my boys at camp.
1097.  Cooking for 8 instead of 140! :)
1098.  I love it that I get to celebrate my birthday in a week or so...I love having a birthday.